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Things divers can do

Published Oct. 10, 2005

Cut boat engines and paddle slowly when approaching a diving area where manatees may be present.

Lower anchor gently, so as not to create excessive noise.

Use snorkel gear only. The sound of the bubbles from SCUBA gear can frighten manatees.

Float at the surface of the water, but do not touch the manatee unless the manatee approaches and touches you first. If approached and touched, rub the manatee with one hand, an open one.

Look but do not touch and avoid harassing manatees. Harassment is defined as:

Approaching a manatee before it approaches you.

Actively pursuing a manatee.

Poking, prodding, stabbing a manatee with any object, including a hand or foot.

Any activity that would separate an individual from a group.

Any activity that would separate a cow and calf.

Any attempt to snag, hook, hold, grab, pinch or ride a manatee.

Any attempt to feed a manatee.